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HP exec says “The cloud could be much more impactful than the web”

by Scott Bicheno on 7 August 2008, 17:19


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White sky thinking

Last week Hewlett Packard, Intel and Yahoo! announced they were going to get their collective heads together to further the development of cloud computing, considered by many to be the Next Big Thing in the evolution of computing.

Any time such influential companies decide to collaborate it’s bound to be significant and, in this case, it was particularly intriguing to see three distinct parts of the technology ecosystem represented in one common goal.

For those still unfamiliar with the concept of cloud computing, it’s like the World Wide Web on steroids in so much as it offers full services and actual computing over the net rather than just information and ecommerce.

Cloud computing is still in its infancy, which is why the likes of HP Intel and Yahoo! are keen to make their mark early and they’re not alone. Google and IBM are apparently collaborating in a similar way, while Dell has reportedly tried to copyright the term “cloud computing” only to thankfully have its efforts scuppered at the 11th hour by the US patents office.

To find out where all this might be headed we were granted an exclusive interview with the director of HP’s Automated Infrastructure Lab in Bristol, John Manley (pictured). We start by asking him what his bit of HP does. “HP spends $3.6 billion per year on R&D and five percent of that is strategic and longer term; definitely big R and little d,” he says. “A quarter of that work is here in Bristol.”